Work: When it sucks after a breakup

By Leah Sheppard

Work: When it sucks after a breakup

Sometimes going to work seems like a whole big pile of ‘Nope’ – even more so when you’ve just been dumped. Not only do you have to get out of bed, try and look half-way decent when you feel like shit but you have to spend the next 8 hours pretending to be professional, productive and interested in whatever it is your co-worker has been talking about for the past 10 mins.

Working a 9-5 is a tough gig any day of the week, and a real challenge when you are going through an even tougher emotional turmoil. In addition to maintaining the normal professional qualities that they hired you for, you have to deal with a very real, very difficult moment in your life without showing any signs that it is affecting you. No one knows your whole world has just turned upside down, and you don’t know if it will ever get better.

No one knows that you feel like bursting into tears at any second, or that you haven’t been able to focus for the past 3+ hours.

No one knows that the happiness has drained from your life, and all you want is for your ex to hold you tight like he used to. And no one knows that the last words he said to you will make you question any value you have in this world at all.

At the time, getting dumped feels like the worst thing that has ever happened to you; Yet because it isn’t a broken arm, or Cancer, or a deceased loved one, it isn’t treated as seriously as the pain it inflicts on your life. Many workplaces will not give you paid leave to get over a breakup, or even sympathy for as long as you need it…and unfortunately, that is just how it is.

While others may have been through a breakup themselves, they aren’t in that space with you feeling things as you do right now. It isn’t that they don’t care, but more that we all have a world of our own personal issues, and life-stresses to deal with. People aren’t callous, they are just in their own world.

When you feel like you just can’t do it, remember, Work is our life-blood. It is our money-train that enables us to have food on the table, clothes on our back and a roof over our head. It stops our emotional turmoil turning into a much bigger financial problem. Be that as it may, don’t stress too much about the odd ‘personal’ day here and there. When you really can’t get out of bed some days, listen to your body. While the work set-up may not yet accommodate leave for breakups, you can take charge in those times you really need it and cut yourself some slack.

Getting over a breakup is hard enough without having to burn out trying to please everyone. Take a day when you need it, and help heal yourself.

Go to the movies, go to a cafe, go to the beach or a park. Nurture yourself, so you can go back to being your Boss self at work, and enjoy the company that your colleagues and a busy environment can bring.

when work is too hard after breakups


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